Nick Saban: Middle of the Field Safety Coverage Principles (part III - Cover 1)
Just like it sounds, man-free coverage is man-to-man defense with a free safety in the deephole (and a linebacker in the shallow hole). Players simply line up and play the respectiveman across from them.1.
Corners always take the first receiver outside (and use the MOF divider justlike in C3)2.
The Strong Safety displaces to the second receiver3.
The Mike and Sam play the backs respectively (Sam has first back out strong /Mike has third back)4.
The Will takes the first back out weak or the second receiver weak. As can be found on page 167 of the LSU playbook, where it explains Cover 1 assignmentsand adjustments to each formation. The position-maintenance covered in the first section of this series plays a major part in funnelling receivers into the free safety / rat-in-the-holehelp and eliminates duplication of effort. With man coverage, there becomes feweropportunities for interceptions, but it increases the chances of an incompletion.The main nuance of this coverage has to do with a challenging/conflicting assignments forthe backers. Because the main thrust of the defense is to stop the run from the inside outand keeping the defenders playing fast, the premise is to keep the linebackers focused on the
backs and TE. Saban uses an alert code (RAT) to prevent a potentially „coverage breaking‟